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The adult bed bugs are broadly flattened, oval in shape, with greatly reduced wings. The reduced for wings, or hemelytra, are broader than they are long, with a somewhat rectangular appearance. The sides of the pronotum are covered with short, stiff hairs. Before feeding, bed bugs are usually brown in color and range from 6 to 9.5 mm in length.
After feeding, the body is often swollen and red in color. The two bed bugs most important to man are the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, and the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus. These two species of bed bugs can easily be distinguished by looking at the prothorax, the first segment of the thorax. The prothorax of the common bed bug is more expanded laterally and the extreme margins are more flattened than that of the tropical bed bug.
Human dwellings, birds nests, and bat caves make the most suitable habitats for bed bugs since they offer warmth, areas to hide, and most importantly hosts on which to feed. Bed bugs are not evenly distributed throughout the environment but are instead concentrated in harbourages. Within human dwellings, harbourages include cracks and crevices in walls, furniture, behind wallpaper and wood paneling, or under carpeting. Bed bugs are usually only active during night but will feed during the day when hungry. Bed bugs can be transported on clothing, in traveler’s luggage, or in bedding and furniture
Beg Bugs are confined to living spaces, copulation among male and female bed bugs is difficult. The female possesses a secondary copulatory aperture, Ribaga’s organ or paragenital sinus, on the fourth abdominal sternum where spermatozoa from the male are injected. The spermatozoa then migrate to the ovaries by passing through the haemocoel, or body cavity. The female bed bug lays approximately 200 eggs during her life span at a rate of one to 12 eggs per day. The eggs are laid on rough surfaces and coated with a transparent cement to adhere them to the substrate. Within six to 17 days bed bug nymphs, almost devoid of color, emerge from the eggs. After five molts, which takes approximately ten weeks, the nymphs reach maturity.